potting soil/aesthetics?

Pulk

Arachnoprince
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I need to get a new type of substrate for a G. rosea and possibly some other inverts (nothing burrowing). I'd like something the bugs look good on, and it seems black/as dark as possible is a good choice for that. (except the A. reversum, he's on green moss).
Is dark organic non-pesticided potting soil something I should be able to find at Home Depot?
Are there other dark soil-like materials that can be used for substrate?
How dark is bed-a-beast?
(anyone know if there's anything like this that can be used for a rosea, a ball python, and a leopard gecko?)


thanks.
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
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hi,

ich don't know about where you live, but in germany you can buy so called 'grave soil' at normal stores that sell plants and garden stuff.
it's a near-black, pesticide and fertilizer free soil used to grow hardy, low-maintainance evergreen plants in graveyards. it looks great, and i never had a problem with it. to give it more structure/variety, you can mix in a bit of white sand, that makes a nice contrast.

you can dry it out and use it for the rosea and the ball python. i wouldn't use it for the gecko, though. leopard geckos like a mixture of sand and clay in which they can dig.
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
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hi,

ich don't know about where you live, but in germany you can buy so called 'grave soil' at normal stores that sell plants and garden stuff.
it's a near-black, pesticide and fertilizer free soil used to grow hardy, low-maintainance evergreen plants in graveyards. it looks great, and i never had a problem with it. to give it more structure/variety, you can mix in a bit of white sand, that makes a nice contrast.

you can dry it out and use it for the rosea and the ball python. i wouldn't use it for the gecko, though. leopard geckos like a mixture of sand and clay in which they can dig.
Kinda off topic, but actually my oldest leopard gecko hates sand... if I put it in her tank she'll go well out of her way to avoid walking on it and will never rest her belly on it. It's bizzare.

Somewhat more on topic, bed-a-beast is very dark when it's wet, but more brownish as it dries out. Maybe a bit darker then potting soil.
 

Python

Arachnolord
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I took potting soil and sifted out the chunks and stuff with a screen top I had lying around. The reslut is a black sand mixture that doesn't retain moisture hardy at all. I use it for some of the dryer species and it looks great. It also packs fairly well.
 

Pulk

Arachnoprince
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Alice - that sounds really good, but I can't find it mentioned anywhere, from Google at least. do you know any other possible names?

Cheetah - actually I can't really tell what color the stuff people call peat moss normally is. I have some moss stuff that's obviously green plant material... but other stuff is brown?

thanks, everyone
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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Peat moss is mulch from a peat bogg. It is basically, organic dirt without chemicals. There is a texture difference but little color difference b/t potting soil and peat. Most potting soils will have peat in them but with other added chemicals for plant growth.
 

Pulk

Arachnoprince
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thanks. I should have just looked that up. :)
is it difficult to get dark peat moss?
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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I don't know if it comes in different colors but I got a huge bag of it for my 150 plus pets and I haven't even used half the bag yet. It's all I use for pedes, scorps, obligate burrowers, terrestrials and arboreals. Got it at a well known nursury chane so, I know it's out there in bulk. Go find some and take a look.
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
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peat moss is a great substrate and looks ok, but it's not really dark once it dries out (like it would need to for the rosie).

and sorry, i've no idea what it would be called in the us - i'm german and get by with the bad english i learned at school. :eek:
but you can just go to a place that sells plants (we have them all over the place, and there's always at least one at every cementery) and just ask - they should know.
 

jen650s

Arachnobaron
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You can buy a bag of Schultz peat moss at Walmart for under $3 and it will do several mediumish takes or a whole bunch of small ones and if you don't like it you are only out the $3.
---Jen
 

Amanda

Arachnolord
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There's no reason you shouldn't be able to just get ordinary pesticide-free potting soil at home depot. Just look for the cheapest generic stuff (additives cost money), and then read the label. It's nearly black and should work fine. I use Schultz Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix, and I love it! So do the Ts. ;)
 

adonis

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I have a couple tanks with Exo-tera Plantation soil (15-25%) mixed with potting soil (75-85%). It provides good mositure, and won't grow molds or fungus (so the package says).

I just really like the colour it produces, a deep black (the potting soil) with some browns. Makes the colourful T's look great.
 

Pulk

Arachnoprince
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I went to the store today and found only two types of soil that look close to ok. One (potting soil) has hypnum moss, forest products, compost, sand, perlite, and a wetting agent.. The other (garden soil) has forest products, compost, and manure. I did a search (all by myself) here and it looks like manure is a no-no.

so... would the first one be ok?


Also: the perlite is kind of ugly, anyway. Can someone post/point me to pics that show clearly how dark bed-a-beast and peat moss are? Is there anything that can't live on either of those?
 
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Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
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... One (potting soil) has hypnum moss, forest products, compost, sand, perlite, ...
"Forest products" are a no-no. The pines and junipers (aka red cedars) contain harmful chemicals to ward off predators and grazers. These also are harmful to tarantulas (and people!) Since they don't tell us exactly what all those forest products are we assume the worst and avoid them like the plague.

... and a wetting agent.. ...
Again, since they don't tell us precisely what it is ...

... The other (garden soil) has forest products, compost, and manure. I did a search (all by myself) here and it looks like manure is a no-no. ...
Ditto. But, I can't think of any reason why well composted cattle manure wouldn't work well. Just don't tell the tarantulas that they're living in cow s**t!

... so... would the first one be ok? ...
No. Neither. Instead, go to a legitimate garden supply and buy yourself a bale of plain, basic, unadulterated peat. It'll only cost you $5 or $10 and if you don't like it you can give it to the neighbor's for their flowers.

... Can someone post/point me to pics that show clearly how dark bed-a-beast and peat moss are? Is there anything that can't live on either of those?
Photos lie! Stop messing around. Go to a garden shop and buy some peat so you can see for yourself. Then stop at a pet shop and buy a brick of Bed-a-Beast so you can see for yourself. It's called "the learning experience" and believe it or not, it's good for you!

And no, I've never heard of any tarantula that couldn't live a long happy life on peat. Except maybe some of the arboreals that seldom get down to the cage floor and couldn't care less.

Best of luck. Hope this helps.
 

Pulk

Arachnoprince
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Heh, cool, my Tarantula Keeper's Guide will be coming into Barnes & Noble in a few days. :D
"Forest products" are a no-no. The pines and junipers (aka red cedars) contain harmful chemicals to ward off predators and grazers. These also are harmful to tarantulas (and people!) Since they don't tell us exactly what all those forest products are we assume the worst and avoid them like the plague.
That does sound like a valid worry.
This thread
led me to believe this specific soil (Hyponex) was acceptable; however, I probably won't be using it for that and other reasons.

...go to a legitimate garden supply and buy yourself a bale of plain, basic, unadulterated peat. It'll only cost you $5 or $10 and if you don't like it you can give it to the neighbor's for their flowers.

Photos lie! Stop messing around. Go to a garden shop and buy some peat so you can see for yourself. Then stop at a pet shop and buy a brick of Bed-a-Beast so you can see for yourself. It's called "the learning experience" and believe it or not, it's good for you!

And no, I've never heard of any tarantula that couldn't live a long happy life on peat. Except maybe some of the arboreals that seldom get down to the cage floor and couldn't care less.
I only went to home depot on that trip, and did NOT find any unadulterated peat. Believe me, I would have bought it. :)

Are there any recommended online sellers of peat moss?
 

jen650s

Arachnobaron
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The Schultz brand is just Canadian peat moss and is sold for under $3 at Walmart.

The reason for not using manure is that cattle are fed worming agents (even the organically fed ones) and wormers will kill your Ts.
 
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